June 28, 2013

The 21st Century one-man band? New gadget switches from a guitar to a piano and a violin at the tap of a button (VIDEO)

The Instrument 1 from Nashville-based Artiphon can be played as a guitar, bass or banjo, a piano or keyboard, as drums or as a violin and it records vocals - all controlled using a docked iPhone or iPod Touch
The one-man band has had a 21st Century makeover.

A Nashville musician and university lecturer has designed a multi-instrument gadget that can switch from being a guitar to a banjo to a piano to a violin and even a set of drums at the tap of a button. 


The Instrument 1 is light enough to wear around your shoulders - or rest on your lap - comes with a built-in amplifer, records vocals through a microphone - and is completely controlled using just an iPhone.

To use the multi-instrument device an iPhone or iPod Touch is connected to a built-in dock. 

To use the multi-instrument device an iPhone or iPod Touch is connected to a built-in dock, pictured. The device can then be used with apps such as Garageband, Auria as well as Ableton and Pro Tools to lay down tracks
The device can then be used with apps such as Garageband, Auria  as well as Ableton and Pro Tools to lay down tracks. 

Once connected the Instrument 1 can be attached to a guitar strap and picked or strummed in the traditional way using a 'touch and velocity-sensitive strum section.' 



The versatile piece of kit can be played as a guitar, banjo, bass, mandolin or any stringed instrument. 

To use the instrument like a piano, users can lay it across their knees and play the fingerboard keys. 

A musician can also tap the Instrument 1's touch panels to use it as a set of drums, or tuck it under their chin to play it like a violin.

The Instrument 1 has built-in BMR speakers with 100 Hz - 20 kHz frequency range as well as a 30-watt Class-D amp combination used for playback. A headphone jack lets you listen to compositions privately too
The Instrument 1 additionally comes with a microphone input that lets singers add vocals to a composition. 

It has built-in BMR speakers with 100 Hz - 20 kHz frequency range and a 30-watt Class-D amp combination for playback.

Artiphon's multi-instrument device comes with built-in speakers, a headphone jack, MIDI in and out points and can be attached to a guitar strap using a handle. The Instrument 1 is sold with guitar, bass, violin and banjo presets but other instruments can be custom added
There is a headphone jack, too. 

On one side of the central dock is a pick section that looks like a covered guitar pickup with added ridges. 

On the other side of the dock is touch fingerboard with fret-like markings and tactile position markers.

The Instrument 1 is sold with preset configurations for guitar, banjo, bass and piano but these can be customised and other instruments added. 

Pitch, bass and tone of the instrument can be controlled using the docked iPhone or iPod Touch. The Instrument 1 also comes with a microphone port that lets singers record vocals and add them directly to music tracks
Touch controls on the inner handle edge of the Instrument 1 are used to change the settings of the strumming and fretboard sections of the strum section and fretboard interfaces. 

The Instrument 1 has been designed to work with Apple devices, however, other controllers can be attached using the MIDI port. 

It was created by Mike Butera, a Sociology lecturer at Belmont University. He is also a PhD in sound studies and musician. 

The Instrument 1 goes on sale later this year and costs £520 ($799). Reservations can be made at 
Artiphon.com.


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